Last night I was in bed reading a good book and enjoying a cup of tea when Roomie #1 (Ashleigh... I confuse myself with the numbers sometimes. Yes I know I only have two roommates. I am bad at math) popped her head in and we started having a little conversation about our day and what was going on and typical chick stuff, when suddenly she interrupted me to ask,
"Are you wearing your retainer right now?"
Why, yes. Yes I was. In fact, I wear my retainers every night while I sleep, and have been doing that since I was in the eighth grade and got my first pair of braces off (don't worry, it's a different set of retainers now because of the surgery braces. That would be disgusting). As I acknowledged this fact, Ashleigh then asked me what book I was reading.
Me: "Um, it's called Ranger's Apprentice... we represent the author, and have clients working on the new movie."
Ashleigh: "Is that Young Adult?"
Me: "Uh, yes. Young Adult Fantasy. But you know, it's for work. I mean my boss didn't ask me to read it but I thought I should."
Ashleigh: "Didn't you once mention that Young Adult Fantasy is your favorite genre?"
Me: "Yes, yes I did."
And sitting there in my bed, discussing my love for Young Adult Fantasy, but with a lisp due to my retainers I realized something: I seem to suffer from Teenage Girl Syndrome. My walls are a baby blue adorned with two Van Gogh paintings (Sunflowers and Jade Blossom Tree) and a multitude of photos of me with friends and family, my bedding at the moment is light pink with flowery pillows, my book case is filled with lots of books but also the three letters of my initials in bright colored fabric, my furniture is all a pristine white, and I have three stuffed animals on my bed, and I may or may not also have a "special blanket" tucked behind a pillow. (Actually, I don't know if we can call this Teenage Girl Syndrome, more like, I'm still a child.)
This was a somewhat upsetting revelation. Ashleigh made a reassuring point, which is that my current living situation doesn't lend itself easily to general decorating, and consequently our rooms become our main sources of personal expression and are therefore dorm-like. Furthermore, the centerpiece of our living room at the moment is a ping pong table, which isn't very teenage girl like at all (so I am just a frat boy at heart?) so I guess that delineates the effect of the childish femininity of my quarters.
This all leads me to conclude, that beyond my geek side, I am simply not at a place in my life (i.e. don't have enough to money) to actually furnish and decorate a room to better reflect my more mature side, and therefore my room is a perfectly put together collection of items leftover from college and my room at home. I imagine that a day will come when I will say goodbye to the girlishness and adapt a more grown-up style, that will hopefully correspond to the wads of cash I am raking in. Until then I will enjoy the Young Adult Fantasy, the stuffed animals, and especially the ping pong table.
This morning I was thinking about it a little more--don't we all have a little child in us still? Our rooms are our private, personal sanctuaries, and I am sure that there is a little something in everyone's that resembles a certain nostalgia for their childhood. Or at least there are some relics left over from the teenage years or days of college dormitories. I guess I might be one of the few still wearing retainers to bed, but I think to some degree, we all suffer from Teenage Girl Syndrome.